January 5

Pirates lose to IceCaps, 3-1

Portland’s power-play comes up empty in the first of three straight games in Newfoundland.

By Chris Ballard
Special to the Press Herald

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — The Portland Pirates threw 31 shots against St. John’s goaltender Eddie Pasquale but only managed to beat him once Sunday as the IceCaps earned a 3-1 win at Mile One Centre.

COMING UP

WHO: Pirates at St. John’s IceCaps

WHEN: 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday

The Pirates (13-12-1-4) dominated the first period, peppering Pasquale with 13 shots, but they couldn’t find the back of the net as the game remained scoreless.

Just over a minute into the second period, J.C. Lipon of the IceCaps passed the puck from behind the net to a wide-open Adam Lowry, who buried his fourth goal of the year past the glove of Pirates goaltender Mark Visentin.

The IceCaps (17-13-1-2) added to their lead early in the third period, as Lipon placed a perfect pass on the stick of pinching defenseman Brenden Kichton, who had a tap-in for his seventh goal of the season.

Andy Miele cut the deficit to one as he skated out of the corner and roofed his team-high 14th goal of the season with 7:20 remaining.

But Jerome Samson ended any hopes for a comeback for the Pirates when he blocked a shot with his shin pads and then skated down the ice to score on a breakaway less than two minutes after Miele’s goal.

Visentin finished with 37 saves.

Pirates Coach Ray Edwards was satisfied with his team’s performance early in the game but disappointed about its inability to convert on six power-play chances (St. John’s also was 0 for 6). The Pirates had a five-on-three advantage for more than a minute in the first period.

“The first period was good,” Edwards said. “Obviously, on the five-on-three, we would have liked one there. I thought we had a good start to the game and competed hard.

“They got one early in the second and we gave up an early one in the third and that hurt us. We kept fighting. We got a nice goal by Andy (Miele) with some great net-front presence to get us back, but right away we turned one over.”

Edwards was critical of the team’s effort as a whole.

“We had some really good players, but we had some really average players, too,” he said. “We have to be better. We can’t have a lot of success when you only have half of your team going.”

The team’s travel plans over the weekend were disrupted by the storm that swept through the East Coast, as Saturday night’s game was moved to Monday. The Pirates and IceCaps play a third straight game on Tuesday.

“We have to manage the whole situation,” said Edwards. “We have a lot of travel. We have six games in eight days with horrible travel. We will probably have an optional (skate) in the morning, along with a meeting, manage the guys’ rest and be ready to play (Monday) night.”

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